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Ethernet is the name of the most commonly used LAN today. A LAN (Local Area Network) is a network of computers that covers a small area like a room, an office, a building or a campus. It is used in contrast with WAN (wide area network) which spans for much larger geographical areas. Ethernet is a network protocol that controls how data is transmitted over a LAN. Technically it is referred to as the IEEE 802.3 protocol.
The protocol has evolved and improved over time and can now deliver at the speed of a gigabit per second. That's one million kbps.
Many people have for their whole lives been using Ethernet without actually knowing it. It is most likely that the wired network in your office, at the bank and even at home is an Ethernet LAN. Besides, most desktop and laptop computers come with integrated an Ethernet card inside so that it is ready to be connected to an Ethernet LAN.
Founded : 1972
History : Engineers Bob Metcalfe and D.R. Boggs developed Ethernet beginning in 1972. Industry standards based on their work were established in 1980 under the IEEE 802.3 set of specifications.Ethernet specifications define low-level data transmission protocols and the technical details manufacturers need to know to build Ethernet products like cards and cables.Ethernet technology has evolved and matured over a long time period. The average consumer can generally rely on off-the-shelf Ethernet products to work as designed and to work with each other.
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more about gigabit ethernet
While Fast Ethernet improved traditional Ethernet from 10 Megabit to 100 Megabit speed, Gigabit Ethernet boasts the same order-of-magnitude improvement over Fast Ethernet by offering speeds of 1000 Megabits (1 Gigabit). Gigabit Ethernet was first made to travel over optical and copper cabling, but the 1000Base-T standard successfully supports it as well. 1000Base-T uses Category 5 cabling similar to 100 Mbps Ethernet, although achieving gigabit speed requires the use of additional wire pairs.
about ethernet devices
Ethernet cables are limited in their reach, and those distances (as short as 100 meters) are insufficient to cover medium-sized and large network installations. A repeater in Ethernet networking is a device that allows multiple cables to be joined and greater distances to be spanned. A bridge device can join an Ethernet to another network of a different type, such as a wireless network. One popular type of repeater device is an Ethernet hub. Other devices sometimes confused with hubs are switches and routers.Ethernet network adapters also exist in multiple forms. Newer personal computers and game consoles feature a built-in Ethernet adapter. USB-to-Ethernet adapters and wireless Ethernet adapters can also be configured to work with many newer devices.
Ethernet is one of the Internet's key technologies. Despite its advanced age, Ethernet continues to power many of the world's local area networks and continually is improving to meet future needs for high-performance networking.
More about fast ethernet
In the mid-1990s, Fast Ethernet technology matured and met its design goals of a) increasing the performance of traditional Ethernet while b) avoiding the need to completely re-cable existing Ethernet networks. Fast Ethernet comes in two major varieties: 100Base-T (using unshielded twisted pair cable) 100Base-FX (using fiber optic cable)By far the most popular of these is 100Base-T, a standard that includes 100Base-TX (Category 5 UTP), 100Base-T2 (Category 3 or better UTP), and 100Base-T4 (100Base-T2 cabling modified to include two additional wire pairs).
Various types of ethernet
Often referred to as Thicknet, 10Base5 was the first incarnation of Ethernet technology. The industry used Thicknet in the 1980s until 10Base2 Thinnet appeared. Compared to Thicknet, Thinnet offered the advantage of thinner (5 millimeters vs 10 millimeters) and more flexible cabling, making it easier to wire office buildings for Ethernet.The most common form of traditional Ethernet, however, was 10Base-T. 10Base-T offers better electrical properties than Thicknet or Thinnet, because 10Base-T cables utilize unshielded twisted pair (UTP) wiring rather than coaxial. 10Base-T also proved more cost effective than alternatives like fiber optic cabling.Numerous other lesser-known Ethernet standards exist, including 10Base-FL, 10Base-FB, and 10Base-FP for fiber optic networks and 10Broad36 for broadband (cable television) cabling.All of the above traditional forms, including 10Base-T have been made obsolete by Fast and Gigabit Ethernet.
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